Wellbeing Our Way's newsletter: 15 December 2016
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Wellbeing Our Way brings together charities, community organisations and individuals. We work together to develop culture and practice across the voluntary sector to enable people with health needs to live well, in ways that matter to them.
Dear <<First Name>>,
What a year!

370 people engaged, eight events, nine blogs, two brand new masterclasses, and in between all of that we took Wellbeing Our Way to Greater Manchester with the launch of two new communities of practice.

Thank you to everyone who has contributed to Wellbeing Our Way throughout 2016 – it’s been a rewarding and fruitful year, with several highlights:
  • Our communities of practice have grown in strength and prominence, with new elements such as action learning and online forums. The communities were highlighted by the Realising the Value programme as an example of leadership in providing ‘critical’ support for the VCSE sector and informal workforce.
  • The care and support planning community of practice published its discussion paper: ‘What is the role of VCSE organisations in care and support planning?’. It has since been referenced in the People and Communities Board’s publication ‘Six Principles for engaging people and communities: putting them into practice’.
  • More than 3,000 of you have accessed our WOW! Exchange which has now grown to over 100 examples of innovative practice from charities and community groups enabling people to live well.
  • We continue to successfully engage diverse communities, with people from Black, Asian and ethnic minority groups, and those identifying as LGBT+ being over-represented compared to the voluntary sector workforce and the population more broadly.
Most important of all is the huge number of you that say Wellbeing Our Way is supporting you to make a difference. Eight out of 10 participants report that Wellbeing Our Way has enabled them to increase their knowledge, skills, confidence and motivation. Three out of four report that Wellbeing Our Way has helped their organisation develop a specific approach through their involvement in a community of practice.

Huge thanks to those who have partnered with us throughout 2016 including Macc (the voluntary, community and social enterprise sector support organisation for the City of Manchester), the Coalition for Collaborative Care, The Leadership Centre and Positively UK (in their role as a partner site for Realising the Value).

Wellbeing Our Way aims to make a practical difference to how charities, community groups and wider health and care organisations enable people to live well. It’s been a good year and I’m confident 2017 will be even better.

Don’t forget, if you work within a voluntary or community organisation and would like to become involved in Wellbeing Our Way, please do get in touch.

Wishing you all a wonderful festive break, and looking forward to continuing the good work with you in 2017.

Best wishes,
Natalie Koussa
Programme Lead - Wellbeing Our Way

Introductory masterclass: Using systems leadership to shape change

This event, on 24 January, will be an introduction to Systems Leadership for members of Wellbeing Our Way's Greater Manchester communities of practice. 
Debbie Sorkin (National Director of Systems Leadership at The Leadership Centre) will be sharing research and best practice from around the country – practical lessons in what works and what doesn’t. There’ll be time to reflect and ask questions about what this means for you, and to develop some tools to help you assess the issues you’re facing and strengthen your own leadership approach. There is more information on our website.
Register for the masterclass
Read Debbie Sorkin's blog on Systems Leadership
WOW! Exchange
Wellbeing Our Way's WOW! Exchange is an online catalogue of more than 100 examples of how charities and community groups are enabling people to live well, in the ways which matter to them.

The examples are searchable by person-centred approach (e.g. peer support, supporting self management) and population group (e.g. children, LGBT+) so you can easily find the examples most useful for your own work.
My Home Life promotes quality of life and delivers positive change in care homes for older people. Working alongside academic researchers and practitioners, My Home Life has created a vision for quality of life that thousands of care home practitioners are now using to support their practice. Too often care homes have to respond to quality frameworks decided by external agencies. The My Home Life vision is unique as it is owned by care homes – and articulates the expertise of the sector in supporting older people. Find out more.

St Giles Trust’s Peer Advisor Programme trains people with lived experience of disadvantage to a Level 3 Certificate in Advice and Guidance. Peer Advisors use their skills and personal experience to volunteer in organisations across South London supporting others in similar situations. Lived experience could be of homelessness, substance misuse, offending, single parenthood, mental illness, disability or long-term unemployment. Find out more.

Have a look, get inspired, and share your work

Greater Manchester communities of practice

Wellbeing Our Way’s work across Greater Manchester has got off to an exciting start. Early conversations with VCSE chief officers led to Wellbeing Our Way hosting two successful events and committing to develop two communities of practice across the region. Emma Baylin was appointed in October as Regional Coordinator and we have already held two further events packed with knowledge, energy and enthusiasm to move forward with developing the communities of practice. The events reached around 60 participants from across Greater Manchester’s voluntary sector, public health and care services and people with lived experience. The events took participants through a staged process; identifying common challenges, discussing aspirations, and sharing assets to develop community of practice priorities.
The peer support and supporting self management communities of practice will start 2017 with a meeting for each on 24 January. Sign up here. These meetings will enable the communities to delve further into specific priorities, share challenges and good practice and start to implement change. 

Coproduction masterclass

On 8 December, Wellbeing Our Way hosted its first coproduction masterclass, in partnership with the Coalition for Collaborative Care. The event was a practical introduction to coproduction including what it is, how to get started and how to develop organisational approaches to working alongside people with lived experience. Thank you to all who joined us – you can see the twitter highlights in this storify.
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